Fake Lincoln Proclamation… An attempt to profit in the gold market…

July 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Daily Courier” of May 19, 1864, contains a fascinating sidebar in American history, the printing of a “fake” Lincoln Proclamation which appeared in two New York newspapers but was ultimately determined to be bogus. The “proclamation” is prefaced with a cautioning statement: “The document which made its appearance yesterday, purporting to be a proclamation of President Lincoln, is copied for the information of our readers:”, then the full text (see below).
This was a scheme by Joseph Howard, a newspaper journalist and a bit of a prankster throughout his career. Howard and an acquaintance had hoped to make a profit on declining gold prices if news from the front was bad. They acquired the stationery and other items necessary to make it look as if a story had come in on the wires to the headquarters of the Associated Press of New York, the clearing house for official wire stories coming from Washington. They forged the Proclamation from the president, which called for the drafting of an additional 400,000 soldiers, obvious evidence the war wasn’t going well. It was delivered to the offices of various New Your newspapers. Only two actually published the story but it caused such that Howard was arrested two days after the story appeared and placed in Prison. He was released on Lincoln’s personal order on August 24, 1864.

Discretion was the better part of valor…

January 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Wounds from the Civil War were still very fresh in the hearts & minds of the Southerners in the months after the Civil War, and perhaps sensitivities were no more acute than among the residents of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy up to the closing days of the war.

blog-11-14-2016-richmond-timesWith this in mind, a new newspaper was begun in the city of Richmond during the closing day of April, 1865, the same month the capital fell to the Yankees. The newspaper was announced in the April 20 issue of the “Richmond Whig”, the announcement headed: “A New Morning Paper – The Richmond Times” and the text including: “…The paper will be under the exclusive editorial charge & control of Mr. H. Rives Pollard, late of the Richmond Examiner, and the first number will appear on Friday…will be devoted to the honor and interest of Virginia…For the present at least–until Virginia shall have emerged from the existing chaos and confusion–the Times will studiously refrain from all editorial comment & will be devoted exclusively to the news of the day. It must be obvious to every reflecting mind that the present is no time for editorial comment or stricture, and that it would only serve to fan the flame of excitement…”.

It is nice to read that there was compassion among the victorious Yankees as the occupied Richmond. There were certainly options that could only have hurt the cause of reunion, but the publisher wisely opted to consider discretion as the better part of valor.

Introducing: RareNewspapers.com – The Civil War…

September 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Collectible Civil War Era Newspapers

Blog-9-22-2016-Civil-War“History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”

Records of a Nation in Turmoil

In the 1860s, Americans’ interest in the Civil War, and its collateral effects, caused a spike in demand for news reports. These were days of heightened concern, and newspapers were one of the few resources that people were able to rely upon for war news.

Aside from specific war news, Civil War newspapers also reported on citizens’ reactions to how the war was shaping the American economy and politics, and opinions about slavery.

Reading an authentic Civil War newspaper and holding the original print paper between your fingers will transport you to the frontlines of battle, and provide a glimpse into the psyche of Civil War-era citizens, politicians, and soldiers.

Original Civil War newspapers are genuine pieces of American history a collector or anyone interested in American history must have.

Harper’s Weekly

Harper’s Weekly was one of the most popular newspapers during the Civil War. Although its base was in New York, its moderate stance on slavery (pre-war) was seen as a way not to upset the newspaper’s Southern readership. However, once the Civil War began, President Lincoln and the Union received Harper’s complete loyalty and support.

As the war went on, the many illustrations and prints from Thomas Nast and Winslow Homer provided a vivid visual account of the battlefields, the people, and the bloodshed—”I’m hoping next week’s edition will show scenes of the battle of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. I’ve read all about it, now I want to see it!” – A Harper’s Weekly reader in 1861. Another Harper’s reader noted, “I look forward to the end of the month and seeing just what transpired at Charleston.”

The illustrations and prints from Harper’s Weekly remain striking in both their detail and artistry. We have several noteworthy issues of Harper’s Weekly in our inventory.

Civil War People & Generals

The Southern States’ call for secession from the Union grew louder after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. A disagreement between President Lincoln and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis over control of Fort Sumter led to overwhelming demand for war. Many men began enlisting for military service shortly after the battle of Fort Sumter.

Our vast inventory of genuine, historic Civil War newspapers highlight the efforts of military heroes from the North and the South that we have all come to know, including Ulysses S. Grant, George McClellan, Robert E. Lee, George Meade, “Stonewall” Jackson, William T. Sherman, and more.

Significant Civil War Battles & Events

Battle reports were common, including struggles at Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Manassas, Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Vicksburg, Fredericksburg, Richmond, and so much more.

We have newspapers covering the first shots at Charleston Harbor to the final surrender at Appomattox, plus the Lincoln assassination.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Southern Illustrated News

The Southern Illustrated News was to the Confederacy what Harper’s Weekly was to the Union. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Southern Illustrated News had a rather ornate masthead and its front pages regularly featured portraits of notable Confederate figures, such as Robert E. Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson, and John S. Mosby. Southern Illustrated remains one of the most sought-after Civil War-era titles in the collecting hobby to date. Visit our Southern Illustrated Pinterest board to view several interesting portraits.

Union Flag

Reporting the Civil War

Before the start of the war, there were 3,725 newspapers in the United States. American newspapers accounted for one-third of all newspapers printed in the world. Most of them were weeklies. At the time, standards for what constituted sound, thorough, and responsible journalism did not exist on the eve of the war, according to Ford Risley, a Civil War journalism expert and head of the Department of Journalism at Penn State University.

Newspapers printed news dispatches, editorials, illustrations, maps, and various other tidbits, such as President Lincoln’s famous letter to Mrs. Bixley “…to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” At times, the dispatches were entirely hearsay and wildly inaccurate, such as this series of short reports from the Daily Journal of Wilmington, NC or this report from the New York Tribune stating that Stonewall Jackson was “Dead Again.”

The Reporters

Reporters were a diverse group. Some had previous experience, but many reporters were lawyers, teachers, clerks, bookkeepers, and ministers. Their levels of education ranged from Ivy-league educated to only basic schooling.

Civil War reporters faced many difficulties, among them uncooperative and unreliable sources, difficulties with dispatching reports back to their newspapers, and even death. One correspondent closed a story with “Your readers must pardon a short letter. No man can write in a happy vein or style while minnie [sic] balls are flying uncomfortably close to his head.” Needless to say, conditions for Civil War reporters were not safe or ideal. More on how reporters lived and worked can be found here.

Confedeate Flag

Unique Printing and Reporting Conditions

After the Union won the Battle of Memphis in June 1862, the Memphis Daily took to the road and became known as the Moving Appeal. During just a four-year period, this newspaper published in nine different cities.

A truly one-of-a-kind newspaper was “printed on board Steamer Des Moines” on blue-lined ledger paper in 1864. This issue also contains a letter written by a soldier to his wife. Letters from soldier correspondence frequently contained glorified accounts of battlefield glory meant to inspire confidence in the readers back home. Occasionally, letters from soldiers had reliable news and insights.

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Much more can be said regarding newspapers from the Civil War, but for now, please enjoy the Rare Newspapers dedicated page dedicated to original and historic issues from this era:

The Civil War

 

Lincoln’s “under the radar” proclamation for Thanksgiving…

November 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Many are quite familiar with President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of October, 1863. However, few have read or heard of his similar proclamation from a few month’s prior which helped build the foundation for his famous October proclamation. The Star of the West, July 25, 1863 contains the text (see images below) of this earlier declaration calling for a day of thanksgiving and prayer – words which are apropos as we prepare (in the U.S.) to celebrate Thanksgiving. Note: We’ve included the text of this famous proclamation below.Blog-11-25-2015-Lincoln-Proclamation-Thanksgiving

October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

The aftermath of the Civil War… July, 1865

July 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-7-3-2015-ConspiratorsWhat news was reported in July, 1865 – 150 years ago? The horrors of the Civil War were now in the past, but the emotions and sorrow of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln were still fresh. Where would the nation go from here? How would we move forward? Was unity possible?
Such a walk back in time through the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following link will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the walk back in time:

July, 1865

A sampling of what you will find may include articles and info regarding: The end of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the hanging of the Lincoln assassination “conspirators”, the capture of Kirby Smith, P.T. Barnum’s tragic fire, the emancipation of slaves, the return to a degree of normalcy as shown through interest in post-war sports (baseball and others), and more. Please enjoy your travel into the past as you browse through the currently available original newspapers!

The Civil War (post conflict)… June, 1865

June 5, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Blog-6-5-2015-When-Johnny-Comes-Marching-HomeWhat news was reported in June, 1865 – 150 years ago? Such a walk back in time through the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following link will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the walk back in time:

June, 1865

A sampling of what you will find may include articles and info regarding: President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, the capture of Jefferson Davis (found wearing a woman’s dress), the first Hebrew free school in New York City, the trial of the conspirators (including Mrs. Surratt),  follow-up detailed Civil War battle reports from several Generals, a well-known print in a Harper’s Weekly titled, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” and more. Enjoy!

The Traveler… a great man laid to rest…

May 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Springfield, Illinois, by the way of the Illinois State Journal of May 4, 1865, where I found they were preparing for the funeral of President Abraham Lincoln which was Blog-5-4-2015-Abraham-Lincoln-Funeralto occur later in the day. The editorial begins “We are without any more definite information in reference to the arrangements for the funeral of President Lincoln, to-day, than that contained in the programme published in another column…the procession will move at precisely ten o’clock, which will require that the remains be closed by eight…Work was recommenced on the tomb on the Mather Square yesterday…Not only the citizens of Springfield but of the whole state would be  rejoiced to learn that the change referred to had been authorized…”. Within another article is “…From our midst, a little more than four years ago, President Lincoln was called to the highest office in the gift of the people. Yesterday all that is mortal of him returned to us wrapped in the habiliments of the grave…The emblems of mourning everywhere  displayed…Illinois receives her murdered son again to her bosom, no less loving than when she sent him forth to the most distinguished honor. To-day we lay him reverently to rest…”

~The Traveler

The Civil War (post conflict)… May, 1865

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

What news was reported in May, 1865 – 150 years ago? Such a walk back in time through the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be Blog-5-1-2015-Jefferson-Davis-Capturedquite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following link will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the walk back in time:

May, 1865

A sampling of what you will find may include articles and info regarding: President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, the capture of Jefferson Davis, the capture and killing of John Wilkes Booth, the promotion of Ulysses S. Grant, President Andrew Johnson’s amnesty proclamation, and more. Enjoy!

Ford’s Theater… then and now…

April 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-4-24-2015-1865-Ford's-Theater150 years ago, much of the nation was still reeling from the death of Abraham Lincoln. A mere 10 days previous time stood still and tears flowed freely at the news that the President had been killed. Did many travel to Washington, D.C. to mourn his passing? Did some visit the very site of his tragic and untimely demise to place a candle… flowers… mourn? The Philadelphia Enquirer, April 17, 1865, not on only printed a sketch of the captured John Wilkes Booth, but they also included a front-page schematic (right) of the back-alley escape route where a horse was waiting for the infamous villain and his accomplice. While the region has gone through several transformations over the course of the last 150 years, this same alley exists today. The current-day photo shown below was sent to us be a collector friend who also included the following note:

I have attached a picture of the rear of Ford’s Theater as it looks today (showing the original windows/doorways that have been bricked-up)…and I want to point out that the alleyway shown on that April 17th issue is incredibly, to this day, the only exit on the entire block and proportioned to what it was in that newspaper.

If you’ve never visited Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., it is certainly worth the trip.Blog-4-24-2015-21st-Century-Ford's-TheaterNote: During my days as a Middle School Teacher, can anyone guess the most common question students asked upon visiting this spot during a school trip?

The Civil War… April, 1865

April 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

What news was reported in April, 1865 – 150 years ago? Such a walk back in time through the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite Blog-4-3-2015-Lincoln-Shotrevealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following link will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the walk back in time:

April, 1865

A sampling of what you will find may include articles and info regarding: the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (along with much on his funeral), the capture and death of John Wilkes Booth, the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, the Fall of Richmond, and more. Enjoy!

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